Golf pro Ben Crane helps Hilton Head student with prom proposal at RBC Heritage
Hilton Head Christian Academy senior Matt Lehman led his girlfriend down to the driving range at Harbour Town Golf Links on Thursday and the couple posted up in front of the bleachers.
And then by the golfers' entrance, the fence by the 10th hole, the fence by the driving range, behind the bleachers and in front of them again.
After an hour and a half at the range, one of the slower spots at RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, 18-year-old Kaera Handy was beginning to wonder why she and Lehman didn't walk somewhere new, though she didn't say a thing.
And then golf pro Ben Crane turned from his warm-up tee and walked straight toward them.
"Hey, Matt. Hey, Kaera. How's Clyde?" the five-time PGA tour winner asked, naming Handy’s beloved dog. After she answered, Crane asked his real question.
"So, will you go to the prom with Matt?"
Handy said she was shocked by the surprise, which Lehman, also 18, had just put together this week after attending Wednesday's Christian Heritage breakfast. Crane, who was this year's speaker, not only agreed to the teen’s scheme but came up with the idea of asking Handy something personal — Lehman suggested his girlfriend’s German short-haired pointer — to lead into the surprise.
"I don't really like the whole prom sign," Lehman said after the proposal — Hardy said yes, by the way. "I wanted to do something different, something fun, and when I told him (Crane) the idea, he was all about it."
Crane is known as much for his big personality as his big wins. He's one of four members of the PGA boy band Golf Boys, whose music song "Oh Oh Oh" has more than 7 million views on Youtube. Wearing a red onesie and an unstrapped helmet, Crane raps and sings lyrics like, ‘You gotta hit the ball far, and the crowd goes ‘Whoo!’”
And on Thursday, he introduced himself to Lehman and Handy with only about half an hour to go before his tee time, when many other players would hesitate to take their minds off the game.
Handy’s first thought when he said her name, though, was, ‘Am I supposed to know who this is?” A tennis player at school, Handy says she doesn’t know much about golf and was just enjoying the day at RBC Heritage with Leham, even though she hadn’t gotten a formal prom invitation with one week to go before the dance.
"I didn't really care," she said, laughing next to her now-official date.
Lehman, a member of the Hilton Head Christian Academy golf team, had to rush off after the invitation. He was working Thursday as an RBC Heritage volunteer, shuttling staff of PGA Tour radio around the tournament by golf cart.
"He's such a nice boy, he felt so bad he had to be 10 minutes late,” said media center volunteer Carol Bartholomew, who gave Lehman permission to pull off the stunt before volunteering. "How could I say no?"
Handy, meanwhile, went to meet up with her parents, and perhaps see some of the grounds beyond the driving range.